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Peter Adamson

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195181425

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181425.001.0001

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Mathematics and Methodology

(p.160) 7 Science

Peter Adamson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter is divided into three sections dealing with pharmacology, optics, and music, and emphasizes the issues of methodology, especially how al-Kindī thinks mathematics is used in science. In pharmacology, al-Kindī gives an arithmetical theory for calculating the effects of compound drugs. In optics, he expands on ideas inherited from Ptolemy to provide a novel theory of light and color. In music, he puts forward an ambitious theory, influenced by Pythagoreanism, which holds that all things are interconnected by relations of harmony.

Keywords:   pharmacology, music, optics, science, mathematics, light, color, Ptolemy, Pythagoreanism, harmony

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